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Topic: Job Shop forum / Laser cutting aluminium

Page: 1

Posted: 26-10-2006 13:21 by Hydram

We find that soft grades of aluminium are difficult to laser cut.  The most common grade for us is 1050, and we start to have difficulties at 3mm and above.

We have found that 5083 is much better for laser cutting.  It gives much less of a burr problem and it will cut faster.  The phrase I am starting to hear these days is "process secure".  It is a harder grade (I'm not sure whether I'm right to say "less pure") and as such is difficult to form, so it is not suitable for jobs that require subsequent bending.

Our purchasing philosophy to date has been to buy grade 1050 as a matter of course (so long as the customer does not specify it) as it is more readily available and cheaper.  I now believe that (if the job doesn't require forming) this is a false economy.

What are your experiences with laser cutting different grades of aluminium?  I'd be grateful to hear!


Posted: 26-10-2006 15:20 by
Hi Andrew

We're about the same with our purchasing policy, except we tend to go to 6082 aluminium for 8mm thick and above - again a harder grade and gives us a very clean cut. 1050 aluminium is fine on our Bysprint up to 6mm thick.

With regard to aluminium, ASC Metals (Lincoln - 01522 501777) do an excellent little brochure that rates aluminium by suitability to various processes such as weldability etc. It's made us sound very knowledgable on many an occasion!


Posted: 26-10-2006 21:15 by Cirrus
Our stock Aluminium for laser cutting is 5251-H22.
This is a 5000 series Aluminium and the first number after 'H' is the hardness in this case 2=half hard. It cuts with a clean edge on our lasers, not too much reflection, can be anodised, folds with care but needs programming to get material grain at 90 degs to fold. Welds, taps and drills and generally is a good all-round material for our machines and our customers.
1050 H111 is fully soft, very reflective and will need more power and less speed of all the grades. As you go from the 1000 series upwards the amount of alloying increases and the ability to fold decreases. You will also find that sheets larger than 2500x1250mm will only be available in 1050 grade which is a nuisance if thicker plates are needed because of the reflection problems. Even with our 3kW Trumpfs which will cut 8mm aluminium we do not cut greater than 3mm thickness 1050 material because of the potential reflection problems, we use our water jet! We currently cut 8mm 6082-T6 aluminium with 3kW laser but find that the cost threshold is about 6mm thickness between laser / water jet.

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